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submitted by Theo Notaras on 08.01.2017

Snow Kythera 2017

Snow

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submitted by Theo Notaras on 08.01.2017

Snow Kythera 2017

Snow

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submitted by James Victor Prineas on 14.03.2016

Winter Green

Unbelievable!

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submitted by Kythera Island News on 02.10.2015

Kalami beach

Is Kythira the perfect Greek island?

Andrew Bostock has spent much of his life living in and writing guidebooks on Greece but in Kythira – with its gorges, waterfalls and perfect beaches – he’s finally found the idyll he has always dreamed of.

[[picture:"Guardian Kaladi.jpg" ID:23155]]

The view of Kaladi in Kythera, Greece
Dream destination … Kaladi, Kythira. Photograph: Alamy

The Guardian newspaper, London

Thursday 3 September 2015


In my 30-year hunt to find the perfect Greek island, I’ve visited around 40 of them – but my quest has been beset by twin, linked, problems.

Firstly, many of them follow a fairly set pattern: a small main town or port, two or three amazing beaches and, if you’re lucky, a ruin or old church atop the island’s one hill. For many this is all that is needed for a week or two away, but I’ve always yearned for more.

The second problem is that the larger islands can be blighted by an overabundance of visitors. Travellers in search of their own little bit of paradise go to more off-the-beaten-track islands, but these tend to get smaller and smaller, thus exacerbating problem number one. This year I followed advice from Greek friends and made for Kythira, and I think my hunt may just be over.

[[picture:"Guardian The port of Avlemonas.jpg" ID:23156]]

The port at Avlemonas. Photograph: Alamy

Kythira can be troublesome to get to, a positive advantage in the perfect island stakes. It is not close to any of the better known islands, lying on its own at the bottom of the Peloponnese peninsula. You can fly there, but only on local flights, and the familiar UK package tour is unknown on the island. The best way to arrive is by boat. This can be done, rather indirectly, from Athens or, more pleasurably, from the little southern port of Neapoli, after a journey that can take in some of the delights of the Peloponnese itself.

My nine-year-old daughter Jemima and I took the latter option and arrived in Diakofti, the new port of the island, but also home to perfect white sands and crystal blue water (as well as a rather large and disconcerting shipwreck). It was here that we first noticed one of Kythira’s quirks: the preponderance of Australian accents. In the early 20th century many islanders emigrated to Australia (or “Big Kythira” as it is known here). Many of their descendants return each summer, and even the locals often speak English with an Aussie twang. Apart from these, however, the island receives few tourists.

[[picture:"Guardian Jemima swimming at the second waterfall down from Mylopotamos.jpg" ID:23157]]

Jemima swimming at the second waterfall down from Mylopotamos. Photograph: Andrew Bostock

Heading west over the island, the landscape looked rocky and treeless, but Kythira is deceptive, and is cut by gorges and valleys that can hide secret treasures. We soon descended into one of these above the village of Mylopotamos, following a tree lined road that led to what might be the ideal Greek village. The name means “river of mills” and the village is set around a slightly incongruous duck pond that lies below the source of the river. We sat above this for our evening meal, in the Platanos taverna. This name is normally a good sign, and means “plane trees”: the ubiquitous shady trees that seem to hang over every village square. This Platanos, which has been serving up local dishes under its three plane trees for 130 years, did not disappoint. Later, we observed Greek tradition by changing venue for dessert, strolling down the steps past the river spring and to the duck pond, and sitting beside it at the Kamari cafe for coffee and ice-cream.

In the morning we followed the river down the gorge past the ruins of numerous mills that once ground the local wheat. We found our first waterfall only a five-minute walk away. It delights under two names: Neraida, after the mythological water nymphs, and Fonissa, meaning “murderess”. We couldn’t decide which we preferred. People were swimming here, but we continued down the gorge. One of the mills has been fully restored and here we met Phillipis Zervos, the owner and restorer. He showed us around and explained the history of the mill – built by his grandfather who shared the same name – and then he directed us to walk a further kilometre down the trail, to another waterfall, which was even more magical than the first.

Kalami beach. Photograph: Andrew Bostock

With a guide and the right equipment, you can continue down the gorge to the isolated beach of Kalami. This little slice of paradise is difficult to get to, as paradise should be. But, if you don’t fancy canyoning down the gorge, the alternative approach involves a hike that ends with a 30m cliff. There is a rope to help the brave, but we contented ourselves with staring at the deserted cove from above (I have been asked to point out that it was me, not Jemima, that chickened out). We did explore the nearby cave of Agia Sofia, impressively filled with stalactites and stalagmites, as well as a chapel with 700-year-old frescoes.

Swimming in the sea had to wait until we reluctantly left Mylopotamos. A friend had emailed me a list of seven must-see beaches (among them the white sands of Diakofti and the hard-to-reach Kalami). Before arriving I presumed that this list would include most of the beaches on the island, but as I circled them on my map I realised that this was just a small selection of more than 30 beaches on Kythira. We opted for Kaladi, on the other side of the island, which at least looked a little easier to get to. This proved optimistic as the single-track and potholed road ended above a long and steep staircase. The pebbled beach repaid the hike, divided into three by rocky outcrops and easily accommodating the 20-odd people who were there – in August! There was not even a cantina, rare for the islands, so we went to nearby Avlemonas for lunch, a small string of houses set above small coves filled with fishing boats and swimming platforms. Sotiris, its taverna, is famous for its lobster pasta, a little above our budget, but its gavros, small fried fish, proved to be a satisfying taste of the sea.

For our last few days we headed to Hora, the island’s capital, and a place that sums up what makes the Greek islands so special. The main town is set on a hill above its port of Kapsali, a common defensive measure in the days of piracy. We explored its white-washed lanes up to a Venetian castle with stunning views over to Hyrta, a sea-girt rock that lays claim to being the birth place of Aphrodite (don’t listen to the Cypriots we were told). Later in the evening, as little craft and bookshops opened their doors, we sat on a rooftop and enjoyed grilled meat and local wines from Zorbas, whose waiters still dress in black waistcoats and white shirts.

View of Hora from its castle. Photograph: Andrew Bostock

Before catching the ferry back to the mainland we took a final trip down to Kapsali and joined Captain Spiros, who took us out on his boat to the rock of Hyrta. He moored at the entrance to an overhanging cave and we soon found ourselves following him into the sea. In the dark recesses, we turned to see the last light from outside turn the water a luminous sapphire. Like much of Kythira, getting there required a bit of effort, but it was well worth it.

Where to stay

Kythira still has “rooms” – simple accommodation, often in owners’ homes. In Mylopotamos, we stayed with the delightful Giota in her house at the edge of the village (50 a night, +30 27360 33782). In Hora, the sprawling Niki offers real bargains (from €25, +30 27360 31488). More luxurious accommodation is also available, especially in the interior, where locals and a few foreigners have beautifully restored some of the old village houses. Try Xenonas Fos Ke Choros (from €95, +30 69807 29399, agreekisland.com).

Andrew Bostock is the author of the Bradt Travel Guide Greece: The Peloponnese – new edition out spring 2016

Photos > Nature

submitted by Kythera Island News on 02.10.2015

The view of Kaladi in Kythera, Greece

Is Kythira the perfect Greek island?

Andrew Bostock has spent much of his life living in and writing guidebooks on Greece but in Kythira – with its gorges, waterfalls and perfect beaches – he’s finally found the idyll he has always dreamed of

The view of Kaladi in Kythera, Greece
Dream destination … Kaladi, Kythira. Photograph: Alamy

The Guardian newspaper, London

Thursday 3 September 2015


In my 30-year hunt to find the perfect Greek island, I’ve visited around 40 of them – but my quest has been beset by twin, linked, problems.

Firstly, many of them follow a fairly set pattern: a small main town or port, two or three amazing beaches and, if you’re lucky, a ruin or old church atop the island’s one hill. For many this is all that is needed for a week or two away, but I’ve always yearned for more.

The second problem is that the larger islands can be blighted by an overabundance of visitors. Travellers in search of their own little bit of paradise go to more off-the-beaten-track islands, but these tend to get smaller and smaller, thus exacerbating problem number one. This year I followed advice from Greek friends and made for Kythira, and I think my hunt may just be over.

The port at Avlemonas. Photograph: Alamy

Kythira can be troublesome to get to, a positive advantage in the perfect island stakes. It is not close to any of the better known islands, lying on its own at the bottom of the Peloponnese peninsula. You can fly there, but only on local flights, and the familiar UK package tour is unknown on the island. The best way to arrive is by boat. This can be done, rather indirectly, from Athens or, more pleasurably, from the little southern port of Neapoli, after a journey that can take in some of the delights of the Peloponnese itself.

My nine-year-old daughter Jemima and I took the latter option and arrived in Diakofti, the new port of the island, but also home to perfect white sands and crystal blue water (as well as a rather large and disconcerting shipwreck). It was here that we first noticed one of Kythira’s quirks: the preponderance of Australian accents. In the early 20th century many islanders emigrated to Australia (or “Big Kythira” as it is known here). Many of their descendants return each summer, and even the locals often speak English with an Aussie twang. Apart from these, however, the island receives few tourists.

Jemima swimming at the second waterfall down from Mylopotamos. Photograph: Andrew Bostock

Heading west over the island, the landscape looked rocky and treeless, but Kythira is deceptive, and is cut by gorges and valleys that can hide secret treasures. We soon descended into one of these above the village of Mylopotamos, following a tree lined road that led to what might be the ideal Greek village. The name means “river of mills” and the village is set around a slightly incongruous duck pond that lies below the source of the river. We sat above this for our evening meal, in the Platanos taverna. This name is normally a good sign, and means “plane trees”: the ubiquitous shady trees that seem to hang over every village square. This Platanos, which has been serving up local dishes under its three plane trees for 130 years, did not disappoint. Later, we observed Greek tradition by changing venue for dessert, strolling down the steps past the river spring and to the duck pond, and sitting beside it at the Kamari cafe for coffee and ice-cream.

In the morning we followed the river down the gorge past the ruins of numerous mills that once ground the local wheat. We found our first waterfall only a five-minute walk away. It delights under two names: Neraida, after the mythological water nymphs, and Fonissa, meaning “murderess”. We couldn’t decide which we preferred. People were swimming here, but we continued down the gorge. One of the mills has been fully restored and here we met Phillipis Zervos, the owner and restorer. He showed us around and explained the history of the mill – built by his grandfather who shared the same name – and then he directed us to walk a further kilometre down the trail, to another waterfall, which was even more magical than the first.

Kalami beach. Photograph: Andrew Bostock

With a guide and the right equipment, you can continue down the gorge to the isolated beach of Kalami. This little slice of paradise is difficult to get to, as paradise should be. But, if you don’t fancy canyoning down the gorge, the alternative approach involves a hike that ends with a 30m cliff. There is a rope to help the brave, but we contented ourselves with staring at the deserted cove from above (I have been asked to point out that it was me, not Jemima, that chickened out). We did explore the nearby cave of Agia Sofia, impressively filled with stalactites and stalagmites, as well as a chapel with 700-year-old frescoes.

Swimming in the sea had to wait until we reluctantly left Mylopotamos. A friend had emailed me a list of seven must-see beaches (among them the white sands of Diakofti and the hard-to-reach Kalami). Before arriving I presumed that this list would include most of the beaches on the island, but as I circled them on my map I realised that this was just a small selection of more than 30 beaches on Kythira. We opted for Kaladi, on the other side of the island, which at least looked a little easier to get to. This proved optimistic as the single-track and potholed road ended above a long and steep staircase. The pebbled beach repaid the hike, divided into three by rocky outcrops and easily accommodating the 20-odd people who were there – in August! There was not even a cantina, rare for the islands, so we went to nearby Avlemonas for lunch, a small string of houses set above small coves filled with fishing boats and swimming platforms. Sotiris, its taverna, is famous for its lobster pasta, a little above our budget, but its gavros, small fried fish, proved to be a satisfying taste of the sea.

For our last few days we headed to Hora, the island’s capital, and a place that sums up what makes the Greek islands so special. The main town is set on a hill above its port of Kapsali, a common defensive measure in the days of piracy. We explored its white-washed lanes up to a Venetian castle with stunning views over to Hyrta, a sea-girt rock that lays claim to being the birth place of Aphrodite (don’t listen to the Cypriots we were told). Later in the evening, as little craft and bookshops opened their doors, we sat on a rooftop and enjoyed grilled meat and local wines from Zorbas, whose waiters still dress in black waistcoats and white shirts.

View of Hora from its castle. Photograph: Andrew Bostock

Before catching the ferry back to the mainland we took a final trip down to Kapsali and joined Captain Spiros, who took us out on his boat to the rock of Hyrta. He moored at the entrance to an overhanging cave and we soon found ourselves following him into the sea. In the dark recesses, we turned to see the last light from outside turn the water a luminous sapphire. Like much of Kythira, getting there required a bit of effort, but it was well worth it.

Where to stay

Kythira still has “rooms” – simple accommodation, often in owners’ homes. In Mylopotamos, we stayed with the delightful Giota in her house at the edge of the village (50 a night, +30 27360 33782). In Hora, the sprawling Niki offers real bargains (from €25, +30 27360 31488). More luxurious accommodation is also available, especially in the interior, where locals and a few foreigners have beautifully restored some of the old village houses. Try Xenonas Fos Ke Choros (from €95, +30 69807 29399, agreekisland.com).

Andrew Bostock is the author of the Bradt Travel Guide Greece: The Peloponnese – new edition out spring 2016

Photos > Nature

submitted by Kytherian Ecology on 09.03.2015

Sea views in Kythera

4 Ways to Fall Madly in Love with Kythera

Posted by Abbie Synan

February 11, 2015

Activities, Greece, Vacation

Abbie Synan, originally from Pennsylvania, now calls the world her home. After years of working in medical administration, she took to a nomadic lifestyle and has spent the last two years exploring new cities, writing, volunteering and consulting. She is constantly searching for exciting experiences, taking photographs and writing stories to share on Speck On The Globe

The warm, buttery Oia sunsets in Santorini, the southern charm of Crete, and the mazes of whitewashed buildings in Mykonos are some of the main attractions luring travelers to Greece. While it’s true that these are some must-see sites on your Mediterranean vacation, for me the ultimate treasure is one many travelers miss. A defining trait of my slow travel experience is making the major tourist destinations supporting characters rather than the main focus of the trips. My love of slow travel tied in seamlessly with my visit to the stunning island of Kythera. Ready to fall in love? Here are the four activities that shouldn't be missed.

1. Experience a hiker’s paradise

The slow travel movement is connected with sustainability, and one of Kythera’s main activities highlights responsible tourism. The region’s hiking project began as a way to make old trails and paths more accessible, which evolved into an ecotourism and sustainability endeavor. The trails are all easily marked, providing a route to beautiful, untapped valleys and serene mountain views. If blazing eco-friendly trails aren't alluring enough, Kythera boasts some impressive caves beckoning to be explored, and its landscape rivals that of any other Grecian island.

2. Get a glimpse of local life

Plenty of places in Greece made me feel at home, but Kythera’s way of warmly revealing itself became the most welcoming. I spent my time there learning about the olive-picking season and how the olive groves affect the island’s inhabitants. My experiential trip to Xenonas Fos ke Choros enabled me to not only live in a more traditional small town but also brought me closer to a simpler, more relaxing way of life in Greece. All the residents were cordial and I found the best way to catch up on island gossip was to show up to the open market in Potamos in your Sunday best. Because slow travel allowed me to make more personal connections, I realized that each of the towns have something to offer beyond their quaint exterior. Even just sampling some delicious traditional food at a local taverna can prompt a deeper appreciation.

3. Live the sea lover’s dream

Mythology marks Kythera as the birthplace of Aphrodite, likely due to its beauty beyond compare. The intoxicating shorelines draw you down from the hilltops, revealing small, sandy beaches and unforgettably blue Mediterranean water. The benefit of spending time on such a small island is that there isn't much more to do than relax and take in the gorgeous scenery. One of the more memorable views I uncovered was a small church clinging to a cliff at the edge of the water. Legend is that this church, Agios Nikolaos o Krasas, was built by a ship captain after being saved at sea. It is a breathtaking homage.

4. Discover a historical haven

You can find the icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa (the black Madonna), Byzantine historical sites, castles, and archeological remnants on this island, with dozens of interesting stories accompanying their presence. Of course, the quickest way to learn all about the folklore is to hear it from a local. My favorite part of uncovering the history was exploring the abandoned water mills and ancient fresco in the medieval villages of Kato Chora and Paleochora. Adding to the attraction of the island are dozens of small churches, cathedrals and monasteries for you to visit.

Very few places I've been have made it as hard for me to leave as Kythera. I came to know the island so well, and when I left, I felt like I was saying goodbye to a little bit of home. This is a feeling you can't get from hurriedly taking a tour bus through the historic sites. Slowing down and appreciating everything allowed me to open up a special place in my heart for Greece.

Photos > Nature

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 03.09.2014

busy bee

the beautiful aroma of the '' tyhmarre'' attracts the bees , which gives the kytherian honey that divine taste and smell ....

Photos > Nature

submitted by Kiriaki Orfanos on 29.08.2014

I wish I could convey the hot, dry smell of Thyme

I wish I could convey to you the hot, sweet smell of Thyme. I wish you could read the scent of it and want hold it in your breath.
I can show you the shape of the landscape and its detail and its colours. I can show you its age and how harsh it can look, or how voluptuous, or how delicate. I can put those images in your head. That’s easy. And anyway, here are the photos. But I can’t give you the smell. And the words I have available to me to describe it, well, they’re not enough.
It’s a smell that swirls around you, scorching your nostrils and setting up currents in the air and in your mind, so that your thoughts pulse to its heat. It burns the air and seeps into your skin. You see things differently too. Different colours, reds, yellows, purples, begin to emerge in the grass, on the shape – and in the bulk – of the mountains, or running down into the gorges and the ravines. They stand out more starkly against a fresher green.
It’s a textured smell, almost pixilated, it attacks the nasal senses in short, percussive bursts. It’s a little bit dusty. A little bit dry. It comes and goes with varying intensity and you find yourself breathing shallowly in order to keep it for as long as you can.
You need to crush the leaves of Thyme in order to release it in its full pungency, like when you notice a feature of the landscape that you want to photograph, so you drive on the verge of the road, bringing the full weight of the car to bear on the plant and it in turn, fills your car with its fragrant protest. However, you don’t need to damage it to feel its softness in the air. Then, it’s almost an ambush. First the smell isn’t there, and then you think it is, and then it is. And the more aware of it you become, the stronger it becomes.
Among the many smells of Kythera in the summer, this is the aroma that defines it most. It is the scent of its summer essence.

Photos > Nature

submitted by George Vardas on 09.08.2013

Turtle at Avlemonas

An interested spectator at Avlemonas during the Mentor archaeological survey.

Photos > Nature

submitted by Kythera Hiking on 18.05.2013

Easter walk organised by Kythera Hiking

An Easter walk was undertaken at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday May 3rd. The meeting point was at the English bridge right before Kapsali (as you begin the descent from Chora towards Kapsali).

The walk started in the morning from Kapsali. Hikers then walked to Chora on the pathway on the western side of the Castle. From Chora the walk continued to Feloti bay, and from there, "Kapitan" Spyros took the walkers by Glass Bottom boat to Chytra (Hydra), and then back to Kapsali. During the walk local participants were accompagnied by the hiking team of the Athens Walking Club. The latter had been hosted by Kythera Hiking during the past few days.

Details about the hike:

Difficulty: Easy walk
Equipment: Hiking boots, hat, sun-screen, water

Participation fee: 9euros/person (solely for the Glass Bottom boat trip)

Fivos Tsaravopoulos organised the hike.

Contact Fivos by email

http://www.kytherahiking.com/

http://www.facebook.com/kytherahiking

Photos > Nature

submitted by Heather De Marco on 30.10.2012

Chalkos Beach

Anyone got any pebbles ?

Photos > Nature

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 02.09.2012

lazy afternoon .. fishing ..!!

a large cod caught off the waters of kythera by theodore fardoulys from agia pelagia and sydney ...many types of this fish are caught by only experienced fisherman , im sure theo has caught many of these !!!!

Photos > Nature

submitted by Kalie Zervos on 28.06.2012

Native Wildlife - Wild goat of Kythera

If you visit Agia Moni or are driving to Diakofti , take care on the road as the local wilflife are often found crossing onto the roadway.

Photos > Nature

submitted by Kalie Zervos on 13.06.2012

Sunset view from Agia Elessa

One of the best sunsets to be seen on Kythera is from Agia Elessa Monastery. This picture was taken in 2010.

Photos > Nature

submitted by Japio Ruijg on 19.05.2012

Black Stork

a pair black stork above the east side on the island

Photos > Nature

submitted by Gaye Hegeman on 25.11.2011

actual size

Interesting colours and patterns.

Photos > Nature

submitted by Gaye Hegeman on 25.11.2011

Wild life

Found on the Potamos - Tryfillanika road, a local snake that didn't quite make it to the other side. Photograph taken May 2010.

Photos > Nature

submitted by Peter Aroney on 29.09.2011

Kapsali Turtle

From our balcony in Aphrodite Apartments we first saw one of the turtles in Kapsali Bay and Yiannis told us that two are regularly seen. So we headed to the beach the next day with snorkelling gear and couldn't belive our luck when we spotted one within 15 metres of the beach. Taken with underwater camera. Also got some video as well.

Photos > Nature

submitted by Kalie Zervos on 30.05.2011

Olives outside Myrtidia Monastery - Sept 2010

This photo was taken on 24th September , the olives are rippening ready for picking in November.

Photos > Nature

submitted by George N Leontsinis on 28.05.2011

Kythera, Myth, History & Reality. The DVD.

Authors & Producers: George Leontsinis & Athanasia Glycofrydi-Leontsini

Texts: George Leontinsis, Kosmas Megalokonomos, Litsa Kouneli

Director: Katerina Tsourlaki

A production of the Open University of the Municipality of Kythera

When Published: 2010

Publisher: Municipality of Kythera. www.kythira.gr

Available:

Greece:

Order from George Leontsinis

Order from Athanasia Glycofrydi-Leontsini

Australia:

Order from Victor Kepreotis

Order from George C Poulos

Order from Kathy Samios

Description:

A high quality DVD.

This 72 minute documentary is an invitation to the island of Kythera, the birthplace of Venus. It invites both Kytherians and travellers to explore the island, with its traditional towns and Venetian castles, its monasteries and churches, its picturesque architecture and historic sites, the natural beauty of its landscape and its marvellous beaches, the green olive groves, the local people and their traditions.

George Leontsinis, Professor of Modern History at the University of Athens, and director Katerina Tsourlaki offer a well documented travelogue to the island's historic, religious, cultural and everyday life, based on original texts, fieldwork, photographic material and interviews.

The documentary was produced by the Open University of the Municipality of Kythera (2002) and was first screened in Kythera (2002), and at the 18th International Tourism Exhibition Philoxenia 2002, Thessaloniki; the DVD has been produced by the Municipality of Kythera (2008).